Matt_Stevenson

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New Year's Predictions Thread (2011)

Would you classify MC-AIXI as a General AI?

The Problem With Trolley Problems

I think a better example than frictionless surfaces and no air resistance would be idealized symmetries. Once something like Coulomb's Law was postulated physicists would imagine the implications of charges on infinite wires and planes to make interesting predictions.

We use the trolley problem and its variations as thought experiments in order to make predictions we can test further with MRIs and the like.

So a publication on interesting trolley problem results would be like theoretical physics paper showing relativity predicts some property of black holes.

The Problem With Trolley Problems

I would compare the trolley problem to a hypothetical physics problem. Just like a physicist will assume a frictionless surface and no air resistance, the trolley problem is important because it discards everything else. It is a reductionist attempt at exploring moral thought.

The Problem With Trolley Problems

I think you are looking at the Trolley Problem out of context.

The Trolley Problem isn't suppose to represent a real-world situation. Its a simplified thought experiment designed to illustrate the variability of morality in slightly differing scenarios. They don't offer solutions to moral questions, they highlight the problems.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 4

Didn't Harry also swear to keep what he and Draco experiment with secret? This is why he never told her about the magic gene either, unless I am misremembering things.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 4

From Ch. 23

There's something called the Interdict of Merlin which stops anyone from getting knowledge of powerful spells out of books, even if you find and read a powerful wizard's notes they won't make sense to you, it has to go from one living mind to another

Eight Short Studies On Excuses

The Lazy Student, The Grieving Student, The Sports Fan: make the deadline for reports a curve instead of a cliff. Each day of delay costs some percentage of the grade.

I've always liked the "drop the n lowest scores" strategy. For example, 10 assignments given with the lowest 2 scores ignored.

You are pre-committing to a set of rules, where any excuse would have a much lower probability of being true. Any excuse would need to include 3 excuses. Combining the probabilities of each of the excuses will likely bring the total under your acceptable threshold. Basically, it's lowering the likelihood that you will want to violate the rules.

You can also look at like this. Your model of people predicts that they are scoundrels, and will try to violate the rules, maximizing their utility at your expense. So build a system where procrastinators can maximize their utility at no expense to you.

Attention Lurkers: Please say hi

Hi, I'm Matt Stevenson. 24 yr old computer scientist. I work on AI, machine learning, and motor control at a small robotics company.

I was hooked when I read Eliezer on OvercomingBias posting about AGI/Friendly AI/Singularity/etc...

I'd like to comment (or post) more, but I would need to revisit a few of the older posts on decision theory to feel like I'm making an actual contribution (as opposed to guessing the karma password). A few more hours in the day would be helpful.

Deception and Self-Doubt

Even if it is a gut feeling and not an explicit lie, he is still showing that his facts are weak since he's resorting to emotions.

Signaling Strategies and Morality

I think this is a problem that applies to a lot of people who are socially dysfunctional, not just those who are high intelligence. Generalizing from one example?

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